Armed Group, Locals Report Myanmar Air Force Attack in Rakhine

By MIN AUNG KHAING 18 December 2018

SITTWE, Rakhine State — The Myanmar military’s air force attacked positions held by the Arakan Army in northern Rakhine State’s Kyauktaw Township on Tuesday, according to locals and the armed group.

U Maung Ni, a resident of the township’s Thalu Chaung village tract, said two military jet fighters started strafing a mountain range near his home with gunfire at about 8 a.m.

He said the attack has sent residents in at least six villages in the area fleeing their homes in fear.

Fighting between the military and the Arakan Army picked up in late November, with almost daily clashes in Rakhine State’s Kyauktaw, Ponnagyun, Rathedaung and Buthidaung townships.

On its Facebook page on Tuesday, the Arakan Army said the military started shelling its positions at about 10 a.m. and sent in two fighter gets for air support three hours later.

On Sunday, three soldiers were killed and more than 10 wounded in a rocket-propelled-grenade attack on a Myanmar military truck in Rathedaung. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, though the site was near territory contested by the Arakan Army.

After a meeting with the government’s Peace Commission on Wednesday, the Arakan Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and Ta’ang National Liberation Army offered to stop fighting with the military in return for the right to join the country’s formal peace talks.

Translated from Burmese by Nyein Nyein.